Tom Montfort ’24 on his love of software engineering, cryptocurrency and blockchain

headshot of a man in a suit outdoors

A lot of things clicked early on for Tom Montfort, a sophomore from Morristown, New Jersey. He says, “I always excelled as a student.  Although I’m naturally smart, I definitely have a strong work ethic.” His intelligence, however, did not make him complacent. Montfort, a computer science major, always was a problem solver. Whether it was building LEGOs or learning Python coding language, he has always been intellectually curious and ambitious.

Heading into his senior year of high school, Montfort didn’t really know exactly what he wanted to do post-grad, but after taking a class where he learned JavaScript that eventually led to him building a fitness app in the summer of 2020, he decided that computer science was the ideal route for him. He says, “I knew that I wanted to work for a large tech company doing some kind of software engineering.”

Coming to Syracuse University, he took his first-year computer science classes in stride due to his hard work. He says, “I knew towards the end of my freshman year that I wanted to get a software engineering internship even though they typically were only offered to juniors.” This didn’t faze Montfort though: “I had heard from others that it was hard to get an internship, but I didn’t care.”

He tried to build experience by joining the CuseHacks team at InnovateOrange his second semester freshman year. He explains, “At CuseHacks I learned a ton and I met Caitlin Sanders who was a senior on her way to Twitter and she helped me a lot with how to handle technical interviews.” After a strenuous process, he found himself at small firm ACG Consulting. By the end of the summer, he was essentially a full-time employee involved in important client work. However, Montfort knew this role was a stepping stone to a larger company.

He says, “The fall of my sophomore year I applied to a bunch of internships at big tech companies and banks. I got an interview at JP Morgan and I worked my ass off to nail the technical interview which I gladly did.”

His love of software engineering can only be matched by his passion for cryptocurrency and blockchain, which he taught himself during winter break of his freshman year. Montfort continues, “I love it because it’s a continual learning process, a learning process I want to share with others.” Montfort has been a part of CryptoCuse where he’s helped other undergrads with “basic foundations of blockchain and crypto currencies.” He says, “There’s ideas floating around in the club of new projects we can work on. It’s really exciting.”

In terms of the future, Montfort wants to get involved in a crypto-based startup as a software engineer, a perfect combination of his two passions. He says, “A traditional 9-5 is comfortable and a good start but I want to get involved with high growth companies in the crypto space because I see myself having a ton of impact.”

You can’t help but be excited to see what Montfort accomplishes in the future within the crypto and software industries and beyond.

Story by Jack Lyons ‘22, LaunchPad Global Fellow; photo by the LaunchPad